Adventures in Humility

News, Views, and Chews on spiritual issues.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Great XHK Tool!

[Original time & date of post: 03:12 - Aug 21 2006]

[Moved up to facilitate continuing discussion in comments section.]

If you've spotted my use of diacritics in recent posts and wondering how I've managed it, it's all thanks to friends at Gaudiya Kutir Wiki, who have created this nice tool that enables people to write in XHK (Extended Harvard-Kyoto). I haven't figured out all it's intricacies yet (such as capital lettering) but go ahead and download it, it's well worth the time!


  • At 22 August, 2006 12:11, Blogger advaitadas said…

    Yes I noticed it too. Can u briefly explain how to make it work on blogspot?

  • At 23 August, 2006 01:56, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    It works everywhere! Even in Notepad, would you believe? :-)

    Basically you have to follow the Installation Instructions, especially making sure that you have enabled the Language Bar to be shown on the desktop.

    Once you have done this, then all you need to do is click on the grey icon in the language bar, select the 'Gaudiya Kutir XHK layout' option and then type away wherever you want, including in Blogspot!

    You basically have to write in typical HK encoding for your Sanskrit verses and it will come out as diacritics. You will need to chop-and-change if you are writing in English too though.

  • At 31 August, 2006 07:26, Blogger advaitadas said…

    Great, however the consonants dont come through. Only the vowels. I put vowels in my most recent blogs. Can you spot them, in vasana and katha? How do the consonants work?

  • At 01 September, 2006 12:35, Blogger Madhava said…

    You need to change the font to Tahoma or Arial Unicode – though Verdana should support most of the diacritics too. The rest of the default fonts, like Arial and Times, are missing some glyphs.

  • At 01 September, 2006 16:15, Blogger advaitadas said…

    I dont have Arial Unicode and so far I have been typing with Tahoma. Verdana is even worse than Tahoma though. The point is that everyone should be able to read the diacritics and not empty blocks, without having to install all kinds of fonts or readers on their PCs. So is that guaranteed with the vowels I typed so far? What other fonts can support the xhk consonants then, universally?

  • At 02 September, 2006 04:06, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Speaking of which, does this tool support capital lettering?

    For example, ZrI ZaGkara = Sri Sankara?

    The first letter of each word, is that possible in caps? Or might that be left for a future update?

  • At 03 September, 2006 06:05, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Also, I can't say that I've had any trouble with consonants as they work fine for me.

    I use the default font when I use Blogger. So whenever I create a new post I just use the "default" font instead of picking a different one. Except for when I post padas and then I use Georgia, but either way consonants work fine for me.

  • At 03 September, 2006 07:27, Blogger advaitadas said…

    Oh but you DO have a problem there Gaura because I cant read ANY of your consonants. That shouldnt be the case, nor should one have to download readers or tweak one's Windows in any way. There should be a way that all the xhk consonants are automatically readable by everyone.

  • At 04 September, 2006 02:41, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    That's really strange. It works completely fine for me and I can see everyone else's consonants and vowels, not only here on my blog but also on the padas that I've recently posted to Vilasa Kunja.

    I'll try going to a cybercafe tomorrow and looking at this blog from there (a different computer) to see if my XHK shows up nicely.

    For the record, your consonants do not show up either and I am wondering if you are even putting them in XHK, and now you seem to be saying the same to me. Really strange. I'll take a look from an outside computer if I can.

    Advaitadas: "There should be a way that all the xhk consonants are automatically readable by everyone."

    I agree. Perhaps we can let Madhava & Co. know about these problems so that they could analyse the problem and put out an update if necessary.

  • At 04 September, 2006 05:56, Blogger advaitadas said…

    "For the record, your consonants do not show up either "

    That is because I never made them in xhk, fearing they wont be readable. I only type in the vowels

  • At 04 September, 2006 16:36, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Aha, I see what you mean. I am now at a cybercafe looking at my blog from the "outside", and I now see perfectly what you are talking about.

    Gee, this is disturbing. I had no idea as everything looked perfectly fine on my home PC. I might have to stop using XHK until further notice, and may even re-edit some of my past postings so that they look ok, perhaps reverting back to "normal" HK encoding.

    I might let Dave know about this if necessary so that perhaps an update can be worked out. It's just a matter of figuring out how the Vedabase.Net people have done it, their diacritics are available for everyone to see.

    On the other hand I'll try and check out Madhava's advice about Tahoma and Arial Unicode (Tahoma is not available on Blogger) but I wouldn't expect any big changes. Wow, this sure is disturbing.

  • At 04 September, 2006 16:53, Blogger advaitadas said…

    No need to throw out the vowels - they work with me too, I heard that also from outside observers (though you may like to check that too in a cyberjoint). Something is better than nothing....

  • At 05 September, 2006 13:46, Anonymous Yadupati said…

    On my PC I can see all your vowel AND consonant signs.

  • At 06 September, 2006 03:55, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Yadupatiji, wow! That is definitely a strange development.

    Do you have the XHK tool installed, or enough Sanskrit fonts on your computer for the characters to show up? I'm really interested in getting to the bottom of this. Thanks.

  • At 06 September, 2006 18:07, Anonymous Yadupati said…

    Sorry, but I thought you were talking about transcription of Sankrit. I only have the Jaipur and KrutiDev fonts installed for devnagari script, but I get the feeling that I am making some mistake again. You might have noticed that I am not really a crack on the computer.

    But no, I have no XHK tool or something equivalent installed. I use the Mozilla Firefox browser, maybe that explains something?
    And I try to give you an example of what I can see:

    bāje khola karatāla bhuvana-maṅgala
    nāce paṅhu dharaṇī karaya ṭalamala

    I case you DO NOT see what I am seeing now (LOL) in mangala I see a dot on top of the n, in panhu the same as in dharani and in talamala a dot under the t and a line over some vowels.
    I hope that this helps you a little bit.

  • At 07 September, 2006 02:49, Blogger "Gaurasundara das" said…

    Yadupatiji, yes that is a great help! That is what I see too and I am also using Firefox!

    Advaitaji, which browser are you using?

    For a reminder, I am talking about this: the XHK tool. This allows one to write in diacritics.

    I also forgot to mention that the cybercafe that I went to is a rather rubbish place where the PCSs are all using Windows 2000 Professional. The XHK tool is tested and displayed properly on WinXP (SP2) PCs.

    I could put it down to the fact that people may be using pre-XP operating systems, but Advaitaji also uses WinXP....

    Does anybody else have an opinion? Myrla? Braja? Madhava? Can you see the diacritics properly or does it appear as small squares, etc?

  • At 07 September, 2006 04:44, Blogger advaitadas said…

    I used to run Firefox but quit because Internet-banking and reading Bengali fonts (among others) sucked on it, so I went back to IE. Recently I installed Windows XP with SP2. Its wonderful.


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